Former Republic of Ireland and Portsmouth midfielder Alan McLouglin has died at the age of 54, it has been announced.
McLoughlin, who made more than 350 appearances for Pompey in a career which began as an apprentice at Manchester United, revealed in March he was living with cancer for the second time.
McLoughlin played 42 times for Ireland and famously scored the goal that took them to the ’94 World Cup[/caption]
A post on his former club’s official Twitter account said: “Pompey are sad to confirm that Alan McLoughlin has passed away at the age of just 54
“Rest in peace, Macca.”
McLoughlin won 42 caps for Ireland and famously scored the goal against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in November 1993 which took Jack Charlton’s team to the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States.
His former Ireland teammate Ray Houghton joined talkSPORT Drive on Tuesday afternoon to pay tribute to McLoughlin.
“It’s incredibly sad news. He’s only 54 years of age. So much to live for, great character,” Houghton said.
McLoughlin played 42 times for Ireland and has sadly died aged 54[/caption]
“I know he had a problem a few years back with a kidney tumour. I remember talking to him about it and he made light of it. Made a few jokes about it.
“I saw all the messages on social media wishing him well in the last few weeks, I didn’t realise it was anywhere near as bad as it was.
“Normally I’d see him at games. He would be doing matches and I’d be there. We’d have a good chat about the Ireland days and matches we played against each other.
“He was a genuinely lovely, lovely man who loved football.”
On that goal he scored to send Ireland to the World Cup, Houghton added: “He came on for me funnily enough. I was disappointed that I came off but delighted when Alan came on.
“When he scored that goal, the emotions that ran through the players and for him as an individual to score a goal that takes your country through to a World Cup is very, very special.
“He will forever be remembered for that goal.”
The tributes flooded in from the football community after the news broke of his death.
McLoughlin played 350 times for Portsmouth and also had spells at Swindon, Southampton and Wigan[/caption]
Football Association of Ireland president Gerry McAnaney said: “Alan will always be remembered for that goal in Belfast 18 years ago, a goal that brought the entire country to its feet.
“He was a great player for Ireland, a fantastic footballing man who coached so many young players and a very proud family man.
“We were lucky to have him as one of our Irish football family and I know I speak on behalf of everyone involved with Irish football when I sympathise with Debbie and his family at this most difficult of times.”